ERIC Number: ED250172
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Issues regarding Nonformal Evaluation of Nonformal Education in Zoos.
Education is one important role of zoos, but there is relatively little research on the extent to which zoos are serving this role. Traditional methods for collecting and analyzing such information have significant disadvantages in zoo settings and should be supplemented (not replaced) by nonreactive measures. To test this concept, teams of graduate students conducted six different research projects using nonreactive methods to investigate selected behavior of recreational visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo. Brief synopses of each study are provided. These studies focused on: (1) visitor "turning preference" in a zoo; (2) determinants of the holding power of zoo exhibits; (3) sign reading at two zoo exhibits; (4) children's reactions to selected animals in a petting zoo; (5) animal stereotypes; and (6) intergenerational communication. The studies contributed to knowledge of the educational impact of zoos and to development of nonreactive research methods and improved student research abilities while requiring students to work under conditions faced by contract researchers. In addition, the studies provided future students with a more advanced starting point for further research and contributed to zoo-university cooperation. (Discussions of nonreactive research methodology and the course in which the research projects were carried out are included.) (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Biannual Meeting of the International Association of Zoo Educators (Edinburgh, Scotland, September, 1984).